Well, let me tell you my friends! I’m definitely no expert but I can give you some tips that we followed and I’m a little bit in love with ours.
What do you want your room to be?
First off, you need to decide on your layout. Is it a kitchen diner? Is it just a kitchen? Do you want a living space in there too?
For us, our kitchen is a key part of our living space and so we wanted to extend out to maximise space, we wanted a good amount of cupboards and then we also wanted a dining and living space with room for a table and a sofa (we wanted it all).
And how should it look?
So, before you do anything have a think about how you just want it to look at first and use magazines, Houzz or Pinterest to do this and just pin or pull out loads of stuff you like before going back to reflect and pull out your favourite things.
There are a ton of options but some things to think about are
- How wide is your house, can it fit an island if you want one?
- Do you want cupboards on both sides or just down the one
- Are you having a pantry?
- What type of flooring do you want (we wanted wooden but you can’t then have underfloor heating)
Once you’ve got a decent idea of what you want it’s time to measure up and go to see some kitchen shops.
Getting some designs:
Top tip, don’t just go to one shop, all different kitchen designers have different ideas and they can plot your space really differently.
Before you go have a good idea of what you want in terms of:
- Style and colour – do you want something modern, shaker etc and what colour are you going for
- Layout – we measured ours out and tried to draw what we wanted in terms of appliances and cupboard sizes. To do the cupboard sizes I listed everything I wanted in cupboards or draws and what would go in them to make sure I had the right size and type of space for pans, plates etc
- Then look at whether you want any of the pull out or fancy cupboards – some such as the corner ones and pantry ones are super useful but don’t go overboard as they’re super expensive
- Then work our once you’ve plotted it how you would move around in it. Try to ‘walk the space’. For example we put our dishwasher on our island and the crockery just behind it so it’s super easy to empty then we put the pans next to the oven. Even though it’s only a few metres you don’t want to be walking to different parts of the kitchen for everything as it will be annoying
Going to the shops:
They ALL have deals on. We only went to four so I can comment more widely but some tips:
- Magnet: we went in, the kitchens were all 20k each, we walked out
- B & Q: they have less range and the kitchens weren’t really for us but use them to plot your space
- Howden’s: we almost bought from here. Number one tip is haggle. We just walked in, we didn’t need our builder so I’d try and do that. That meant we got a direct quote which was about £4.5k vs my friends quote for a similar kitchen which was £17k. She went in with my info and negotiated it down to £5k. They don’t really do worktops either so you have to go else where. Their kitchens come flat pack so you have to put them together and install then but they do have loads of stock so if you break or need something it’s not an issue
- Wren: these guys are the old MFI, they have loads of options and they do credit. The credit was actually what sold us in the end as we couldn’t really pay immediately. They also always have loads of deals on and they staff turnover is quite high so they’re keen to sell – that means you should ask for discount! In addition, they do a huge range of worktops and their cupboards are deeper than the other suppliers so they fit all types of dinner plates. Finally, they come ready built so your fitting should be way quicker and way cheaper
Any other tips?
- Once you’ve decided who to go with then go back and replan your space a few times. We changed ours three times
- Don’t buy everything from the same place. We got appliances from AO (also on credit for a year) as they had way more options and we got handles from handles 4 u which was was better and way cheaper than Wren
- Measure, measure, measure – think about cupboard doors – have they got space to open, have you got space to walk etc
- Worktop – if this is specially cut then your kitchen has to be fit to their spec to the millimetre. We had to get the builders to adjust ours when the man came to measure so make sure they’re there when they come to measure up
And enjoy! A kitchen is one of the best spaces in the house, so do your research (even though it’s boring), go through it a few times and enjoy it!